overlooked, production can be a key element in a station's overall success. Programmers
from large, medium, and small markets emphasize the importance of this programming
component, but are frequently frustrated in the search for AC-compatible production
The Wrong Beer Now
of his plan to protect KLTR's environment, Scarborough evaluates all spots, and has turned
some away. "We've told many advertisers their commercial isn't acceptable to our
product. Coors Light, for example, has some pretty hard-edged jingles.
Of the three spots they sent us, we sent two back. Agencies cut
different spots for Country, CHR, and UC. We have to educate them to do the same for AC.
As with all things, it will take time. Local advertisers want messages that scream `Buy,
buy, buy' or `Save, save, save.' We request that these spots be toned down and
Thus far, no KLTR advertiser asked to alter a spot has told the
station to take a hike. "Everyone has accommodated us," Scarborough said.
"We tell them we know the audience and how to reach it. Our clients always cooperate
with us in some fashion."
KLTR's jazz offering, "K-Lite Cafe," airs evenings and
Sundays during brunch hours. The station runs certain spots outside the show that
it deems unacceptable within it.
"The Cafe' has a pop feel," Scarborough reasoned.
"We're selective with the music. There's nothing abrasive, there are no hard guitar
licks, and the tempo is fairly controlled. The Cafe' needs to provide a relaxing
environment. The last thing we want to do is burst someone's bubble by blowing the
illusion of this relaxing haven. Some spots fit in one environment, but not in the
we do on-air, in - cluding commercials, has some
element of `show biz' in it," said KLTR/Houston PD Ed
Scarborough. "The music we put into commercials and promos has to match the station's
environment, which must always be protected. Music we place under commercials sounds like
songs we'd play on the station throughout the day."
a production library to fit the bill isn't easy. "We've evaluated about 15 libraries
within the past two months," Scarborough reported. "We're having a hell of a
time finding one that's suitable for AC. I don't know what some of these people are
thinking when they're laying down tracks. Tracks tend to be heavily laden with rhythm, and
aren't geared to ACs. Not all ACs play heavy dance product, yet production companies lean
to some weird sounds.
"Companies use lots of
fuzz guitars on tracks. I'd venture to guess 70% of ACs wouldn't touch guitar licks like
that. Production packages that companies claim are AC are often
pretty off-the-wall. One package we received had brass
and string sections which [made it sound] like it came from the '60s.
"When looking for music beds, Scarborough hunts
for pieces with unobtrusive melodies. "They have to have texture,
feel, and some rhythm. But they shouldn't have
melody getting in the way. We've heard production beds with wailing
saxophones. Do they expect me to put that kind of music under